Vice President Dick Cheney (search) told nearly 1,000 military personnel on Monday the Bush administration is "doing everything" it can to protect the nation against terrorists and other threats.

"I am grateful to stand before so many who defend our homeland so well," Cheney told the camouflage-clad airmen and a handful of civilians gathered in a hangar. "Your mission here is nothing less than the defense of America's land, sea and air space."

Cheney, who has been campaigning throughout the West, was addressing members of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (search) and the U.S. Northern Command (search), which was set up here to coordinate the military response to threats to North America following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"It's been almost three years since the terrorists brought war to our homeland," Cheney said. "We saw a foe whose hate for us is limitless. This is, to put it simply, an enemy we must vanquish. And we will vanquish this enemy."

He added: "President Bush is determined to remove threats before they arrive ... all Americans can be certain we are doing everything we can to protect this nation."

It was Cheney's sixth visit since last fall to a state that has two congressional seats being left open by the retirement of Republicans. Both President Bush and Kerry have been running ads in Colorado in an effort to capture its nine electoral votes in November's election.

In June, Cheney spoke to 300 workers and their families at Adam Aircraft in Englewood, Colo., about the economy, saying voters should reject any suggestion to roll back tax cuts.